Young people are struggling to stand out from the crowd, according to new research, but what exactly can graduates do to ensure they get noticed?

Identified as the biggest issue facing 16-24 year olds by totaljobs, finding it difficult to get noticed also comes against a backdrop of increased competition for available jobs, with applications up 3% year on year.

As a result, it is more important than ever for job seekers to be aware of how they can make themselves stand out amongst the crowd and make them special in the eye of an employer.

The idea of ‘being different’ on a job application, CV or cover letter can be quite unfamiliar – after all, it is an extremely formal process – but showing off your personality, unique experiences and skills can give your application a slight edge over other candidates.

Go against the grain

Your CV and covering letter will need to stand out if you are going to be able to secure yourself an interview, so make sure yours is free of the typical clichéd words and is interesting and concise. The vast majority of applications will follow the same format, with the same headings and sections, so do not be scared to let your personality shine through and go against the grain as long as you are not sacrificing accuracy and readability.

For example, you can try adding some creativity into your cover letter by titling it, ‘three reasons to hire me’, to try and pique the interest of the reader – a lot of content websites, bloggers and even marketers will use titles with numbers or ‘how to’ in the title to capture their audience’s attention.

Go the extra mile

As well as focusing on your CV and cover letter, start thinking about ways in which you can prove your value to a prospective employer. Start a blog covering relevant topics, create a portfolio of previous work or think about how your skills can help tackle a problem that the company might face.

You can show how your skills could be used on the job by writing with a focus on problem-solving in your applications. Think about what skills you used to during your degree, whilst on work experience or at a part-time job and draw on them in your applications, describing how you would utilise them to solve a specific problem in the role you are applying for.

If you’re a graduate looking to kick-start your career, have a chat with Discovery Graduates and see how they can help get you started.